Katie & Chris' engagement session fell on one of the most perfect days this fall - it was nice and sunny but we were also blessed with cooler weather and a nice breeze! Katie and Chris bought along Lexi, their adorable golden retriever, who was making me seriously want another dog! Can't you just see Jasmine with a little golden retriever sibling?! Besides being insanely cute, Lexi was also very well behaved & we were able to incorporate her into a lot of fun shots over the entire session! We centered Katie & Chris' photos around water as a nod to Katie's family lakehouse where they've made lots of happy memories and near where Katie & Chris almost got engaged (you'll have to keep reading to hear the whole story!). I love how sweet Katie & Chris are to each other & the amazing things they love about one another - just wait until you read the sweet things they have to say about one another below!
Without further ado, let's jump into the story of how they met (first from Chris) - "Katie and I had met once before, but the first time we truly hung out was at my fraternity’s Christmas date night my junior (her sophomore) year. She was one of my fraternity brothers’ date and I had brought a good friend from high school as my date. During a competitive drinking game, I asked my date to pretend to hit on my fraternity brother who brought Katie, so that I could proceed to hit on her. My friend did a great job as a wingman (distracting my fraternity brother) while I spent the rest of the event with Katie and went out with her and friends later that night. Over the winter holidays we didn’t talk at all but when we got back in January, I took her out on our first official date and managed to hang on to her for another 4.5 years after that. We dated for the rest of our time in college and for a number of years since graduation."
From Katie - "The one thing I really remember about the [first] date is how comfortable I was around him. We easily found things to talk about and it was never awkward. We found we have similar interests, friends and overall personalities.
We continued dating and after about a month became "girlfriend" and "boyfriend". We found we had many things we liked together but also kept true to ourselves and had interests outside of everything together. I feel this has helped us in our balance and keeping our relationship strong. We make time for ourselves and just being together. It hasn't always been the happiest times, we get into disagreements but each time we resolve the issue and move on easily. "
Katie, what do you love most about Chris? - "I don't know that I can pick one thing. It's him in general. His kindness to me and Lexi always makes me smile and feel loved. He has a big heart that always is looking out for others and never wanting to leave anyone behind or left out. His outgoing fun personality with others like me, keeps us enjoying times together. His ambition and drive always encourages me. He is patient with me which I know can be difficult and will spoil me with things I enjoy or want."
"Katie has two incredibly endearing qualities: (i) her ambition and passion for her career and children (she’s a cardiac ICU nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta) and (ii) her love of family. For number (i), she has found her dream job and excels at it. If any parent had to go through the ordeal of having a young child hospitalized with a serious heart condition, you want Katie as his or her nurse - period. She absolutely lights up around children and will go above and beyond to help them. Her commitment is inspiring and something that I, and frankly everyone, should use an example of finding a passion in life and pursuing it from day 1. Her career comes with some very difficult moments, but she loves what she does and wouldn’t want it any other way."
"On number (ii), she is truly family first. Her extended family was much closer than mine growing up and still remains close today. Her dedication to family is what reminds me every day that there will not be a better mother on this planet. Katie is absolutely my perfect complement and keeps me grounded more than anyone else I’ve ever known. I’m not always the easiest to put up with but she is a reminder of what is truly important in my life. I know I don’t say it or show it nearly enough as much as I should, but I absolutely love her and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together!"
About the Proposal: "The first summer after we started dating (6 months in) I made the trip to Katie’s lakehouse and met the entire extended family. After escaping the long weekend unscathed, I had to follow Katie through the winding road to get back to the interstate and there was a spot when she needed to pull over and we were going to split (she was going to Athens, me to Atlanta). After we pulled over and she gave me the next couple of directions, she casually dropped the “I love you” line for the first time, said bye and drove off.
Since that day, I have always given Katie a hard time every time we pass that spot on the way back from her lakehouse. I had bought a ring a few weeks earlier and decided to propose over Memorial Day by pulling over at that spot and getting down on one knee. Sure enough, Katie was adamant about driving home from the lakehouse that weekend, which would have made it very weird/awkward to ask her to pullover. Queue calling an audible…"
About the Proposal (continued) - "I [Chris] 100% wanted to propose that day so on the ride home I came up with my alternative. When we got back to Atlanta, Katie was exhausted and took a nap. I went out to buy a bottle of champagne, 2 flute glasses and a nice tray. I put the ring as well as the champagne, glasses, and a jar of peanut butter and jelly (a corny inside joke between us) and woke her up from her nap “breakfast-in-bed” style, except instead of breakfast, she got me down on one knee."
About the Proposal (from Katie), "For the proposal I might have been waiting anxiously for about 2 months for it to happen. I knew it was a holiday weekend and we were at one of our favorite places...the lake. The whole weekend I would analyze everything and think it might be coming so I would have my hair nicer and some make-up on, which was rare for me since we were at the lake. Monday came around and it still hasn't happened so I was a little disappointed. When leaving Chris asked me (he says 3 times, I just remember 1 time) if I wanted him to drive. We had taken my car so I felt I would still drive and let him sleep on the way home no big deal.The whole way home he was very quiet and reserved. I would ask him what's wrong and he would say nothing I'm just tired. I believed him and thought he was napping the second half of the drive. Once home I decided to take a nap and Chris was going to the grocery store. When I woke up he was just getting back and I just sat up in bed knowing he would come in soon."
"When he did come in he had a tray with champagne, champagne glasses, red roses and peanut butter & jelly (our inside joke to the honey bee song). He put the tray down and I then saw the ring in its box front and center. He got down on one knee next to the bed and asked me to marry him. I of course said yes! Then all I thought about laughing was how I was in workout shorts and a t-shirt still from my nap. It was so us though because we both love naps and just hanging out together."
Thank you, Katie & Chris! I loved hearing how the proposal came together & how you, Chris, still surprised Katie! Amazing! Can't wait for your wedding next May!